Because I don’t have a lot of freezer space and I don’t really like the hassle of canning, I have been learning about fermenting as a way to preserve my excess produce. There’s actually more reasons to this and that is that I love the taste of fermented food and fermented food has probiotics which are very good for you. Also I have learned that when you ferment food the vitamins and minerals in that food are multiplied.
As I have been experimenting I have also found that it reduces bulk when fermenting greens or other produce with a high water content. For example, I fermented some romaine lettuce and found that two entire heads of lettuce could be stuffed into a 16 oz glass jar. What happens is that you salt the food and the salt draws out the liquid in the food and so shrinks it, sort of like when you cook greens and they shrink way down because there’s so much water. While you may think fermenting romaine lettuce sounds weird, I have to let you know that it tasted almost exactly the same as kimchi. I did add red pepper and garlic.
If you are not familiar with what a ferment is, think sauerkraut. That is how sauerkraut is made. It is fermented.
As I said earlier the romaine lettuce I fermented tasted like kimchi. I also did a jar of kale with chopped up carrots and it is absolutely delicious. Not to mention healthy and way easier to store than other preservation methods, in my opinion.
It is extremely simple too and is very quick to do once you have the hang of it. It’s only a matter of chopping up the food, putting salt or brine on it, stuffing it really tightly into a jar, putting a weight on top of the vegetables so they will stay underneath the liquid, then letting it sit on your countertop for a few days until it has fermented. It’s always a fun surprise to taste the ferment when it is ready. When it is ready, simply put the lid on the jar and store it in the refrigerator. It can last a long time in the refrigerator but that is something you should look up when learning about fermenting. I use mine up fairly quickly because it tastes so good.
If you are interested in fermenting please do not use my instructions above. I was only trying to show how simple it is. It would be better for you to go to a website and get good instructions from someone with more experience. I watched quite a few YouTube videos on it, read about it and through a little experience I feel I’m getting the hang of it.
In the past I have done canning, freezing, and dehydrating. Fermenting by far is my favorite for its simplicity, taste and healthy probiotics.
I’m learning you can ferment just about anything. I’m only working with produce right now because that is what I have an abundance of but I will be trying a lot of other foods as I go.
I have only done one other ferment besides the two that I have mentioned so far and that was onions. They turned out to be a wonderful condiment for sandwiches and burgers.
Have you tried fermenting? If so what have you fermented? I would love to hear your experience with it or other food preservation methods.
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